Academic journal article International Education Studies

Writing Anxiety as a Predictor of Writing Self-Efficacy in English for Special Education Arab Learners

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Writing Anxiety as a Predictor of Writing Self-Efficacy in English for Special Education Arab Learners

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study aimed at investigating the relationship between writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy in English for special education Arab learners of English. It also investigated the use of writing anxiety scores as a predictor of writing self-efficacy. In addition, it explored differences between males and females in both writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy in English. The sample of the study consisted of 90 intermediate school students in the state of Kuwait (47 males and 43 females); the mean age was 8.67 years and the standard deviation was 2.4 years. The descriptive research design was adopted in the study. The researchers used writing anxiety scale, writing self-efficacy scale and an achievement test in English writing skills. Results of the study showed that there is a positive relationship between students' writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy for male students and the overall sample while no relationship was detected among these variables for female students. In addition, results revealed that writing anxiety scores could be used as a predictor of students' writing self-efficacy in English for male students and the overall sample of the study whereas writing anxiety scores could not be used as a predictor of writing self-efficacy for female students. It was found that there were no statistically significant differences between male and female students in their scores of writing anxiety and writing self-efficacy in English Language.

Keywords: writing anxiety, self-efficacy, Arab learners

1. Introduction

1.1 Introducing the Problem

Writing skill is one of the most crucial of the four English language skills. It is the productive skill that almost all people use to fulfill their goals in their daily activities. The significance of writing among these four skills stems from the fact that people escape from speaking in front of others. Therefore, there is no other outlet except the writing skill. Unfortunately, writing anxiety makes students unable to write which exaggerate their problem. Thus, deciding on the reasons of writing anxiety and how to develop writing self-efficacy will undoubtedly help learners to write effectively.

1.2 Literature Review and Related Scholarship

Writing is one of the four basic language skills that is given an utmost degree of importance. Majority of research were conducted to investigate certain aspects of the writing skills. Therefore, it has become so clear that writing is important whether for academic or occupational purposes. Writing helps people to express their ideas, emotions and feelings. Writing also helps them to promote the sense of ownership. Therefore, writing is considered to be the commonest way of assessing students' performance in English especially in the Arab countries (Salem, 2013, p. 1).

Writing is so important as to be included in foreign language syllabus for many reasons; one of these reasons is that people need writing to communicate with each other. Also, writing helps students learn effectively. According to Salem (2008), writing ameliorates students' grammatical structures, idioms and vocabulary. In addition, writing helps students to be adventurous in using the language. It provides students a challenging opportunity to go deep beyond what they have directly learned to say. It is worth noting that writing helps students to become deeply involved with the new language.

Al-Saleem (2008, p. 77) views that writing is one of the most important elements of the activities that take place within the classroom. It is of great aid for students to practice grammatical structures and vocabulary. Writing in his point of view-represents an excellent means for expressing their ideas and thoughts without being obliged to be in a face-to-face interaction. The same idea was adopted by Helal (2003, p. 18) who states that variety of instruction, developed instruction and developed literacy skills can be ensured through providing challenging writing activities. …

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